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01 December 2011

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bth

Has a war ever been won where the enemy controls the supply lines?

Basilisk

I wonder how many more arguments we will need before somebody figures out it is time to get the hell out of Dodge.

turcopolier

Basilisk

There is also the question of whether the northern MSR wouldremain open in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran. Dempsey says to the press that theIsraelis refuse to say they will notify us in advance and Barak now sys that they will not attack Iran. ! January when we are no longer reponsible for Iraqi air space may be an interesting date. pl

walrus

Google Earth shows rail going to Termez on the border. There is a bridge. I wonder how friendly the natives are along A76?

Basilisk

I hope these guys really understand what "last resort" means. I don't think a conventional air campaign stands much of a chance, so someone must be thinking about air delivered nuclear weapons against deeply buried structures. Forget those nice, "clean" airbursts.

Humans haven't been very good stewards of this planet so far, and a few hundred tons of radioactive dirt in the atmosphere won't be an improvement, but perhaps a small but victorious nuclear war will help the population of Israel feel safe...until they begin to look at the radiation readings.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

I am a firm believer that the turmoil in the 70’s & 80’s from Nixon’s Resignation; Jimmy Carter’s Inflation, to the Regan Revolution was part and parcel of the aftermath of the Vietnam War withdrawal. This is without any of the Dominoes Falling. The impact of the Afghanistan and/or Iraq withdrawal will be catastrophic if thousands of contractors are left behind to face Gordon’s fate at Khartoum.

The 2012 Presidential choice could well be Gingrich verses Obama, Mitt’s fading among Republicans; he is too moderate. Believe it or not, Barack Obama still has a chance. Barack will try to avoid adding a third Islamic War with Iran, unlike the Bushes who wouldn’t avoid another chance to have a war. But, Colonel, you may be correct, the Likud Party is so crazy and afraid that they will attack Iran’s nuclear sites and the aftershocks from the closing of the Straits of Hormuz to denying access to Afghanistan would blow up the Middle East and crash the World’s economy.

What is really strange in the 21st Century is that the Oligarch’s are so intent on enriching themselves by currency speculation and refusing to take a haircut on their bad bets, along with the failure of the Western Democracies to protect and serve their citizens, will just as surely collapse America’s economy when the Euro crashes as an Israeli attack on Iran.

DH

"According diplomats, the Americans are now trying to secure three different alternative supply routes for Afghanistan. The first one is the northern route which starts in the Latvian port of Riga, the largest all-weather harbor on the Baltic Sea, where container ships offload their cargo onto Russian trains. The shipments roll south through Russia, then southeast around the Caspian Sea through Kazakhstan and finally south through Uzbekistan until they cross the frontier into north Afghanistan. The Russian train-lines were built to supply Russia's own war in Afghanistan in the 1980's, and these can be used by the US-led forces in their own Afghan campaign.

The second one is the southern route which transits the Caucuses, completely bypassing Russia, from Georgia. Starting from the Black Sea port, Ponti, it travels north to Azerbaijan and its port, Baku, where goods are loaded onto ferries to cross the Caspian Sea. Landfall is Kazakhstan, where the goods are carried by truck to Uzbekistan and finally Afghanistan. While shorter than the northern route, it is more expensive because of the on-and-off loading from trucks to ferries and back onto trucks. A third supply route, which is actually a spur of the northern route, bypasses Uzbekistan and proceeds from Kazakhstan via Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which has a north east border with Afghanistan. However, this route is hampered by bad road conditions in Tajikistan."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MK30Df01.html

different clue

A rail-route for oil tankers from the Baltic to Northern Afghanistan would serve a Shanghai Cooperation Council-backed Northern Alliance (in all but name) Afghanistan just as well as it would serve our effort to remain there.
And if we withdrew our forces, contractors, and everything as fast as possible in an orderly way, then Russia and the SCO would be forced to think about whether they want the Pashtun Taliban to rule the entirety of Afghanistan once again, or whether they want to support a No Taliban Zone in the non-Pashtun northern (and perhaps Hazara) parts of Afghanistan. It depends on whether they fear a revival of insurgent training camps stuffed full of Chechens, Central Asians, Uighurs, etc. or not).

Rd.

According diplomats, the Americans are now trying to secure three different alternative supply routes for Afghanistan >/b>

Is the russian route open to all shipment? Or are there some restrictions on combat related shipments?

Wonder how much this little adventure adds to the cost of war? On daily basis?

And this little scheme comes from the same smart politicians who lowered the soviets to Afghanistan and the financial drain which helped to bring down that empire. Considering, the soviets had better luck (??) securing the major cities, and they were right next door!!

Jose

Maybe we could buy the fuel from Iran...lol

The Moar You Know

The Pakistanis may well go down in history as having committed an act of great kindness to the United States by forcing us to get out of that hellhole as soon as possible.

Our armed forces know the score. I was in Djibouti recently. I cannot recommend the place. Worst climate I've ever experienced. Most of the guys there had been given a choice between there or Afghanistan. Turns out pretty much nobody wants to go to Afghanistan. Also turns out that those that have been to Afghanistan think our presence there is, put mildly, futile.

Jake

Now is everyone here saying that we never had a logistics plan b?

If that is the case then we really, really need to get the hell out of there right now.....

securecare

Obama will have his second term & it will likely be a fairly positive one.

The republicans have behaved & will continue to just as Team Obama projected when they adopted the longer game trap strategy. Said trap is starting to close and will continue to do so for the next 4-6 months. After that it will be all air adwars using the republican behavior against them.

Smart strategy.

Amir

The suggestion about buying the fuel from Iran is not as laughable as it might sound. Direct purchasing would be difficult to arrange for but a variation on "Iran-Contra" is not only feasible, it is probably already being done.

gaw

"There are rumors that Obama is thinking of a massive draw down by the end of next summer."

Well, the US could always bribe Pakistan enough to reopen the supply lines, after a suitable atonement period. The price required might be too high though.

But the bigger issue is the election, as I saod years ago.

It's a no brainer for Obama - declare "Victory in Afghanistan" and withdraw. Most voters would agree with "win or lose, we been there far too long already", don't you think? They may not like Obama all that much, but I can't see him failing to get a boost out of it on voting day.

And Repubs would probably be dumb enough to disagree, making just another reason not to vote R, as well, no?

Another term of Obama seems preferable to the others and their policies, sadly.

Peter

Is this one shoot up too many, for high end military equipment bribery? Surely, some type of unobtainium military equipment that the Paki's desire to neutralize the Indian threat may overcome the current situation. All of these governments in the Stans don't want to see Uncle Sam's dollars go bye bye. The Ruskies are getting a bit stronger monetarily, but not well off enough to reassert into the Stans at this time.

I just wish the neo-cons were better historians.

bth

I like to read the Paki papers and especially quotes from Gen. Gul to get my up and moving in the morning. Good to know how he thinks they can bend us one more time. Thought you might find this article interesting.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10685&Cat=13

Charles I

In Pictures: The Torkham border crossing

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2011/11/20111130142135662439.html

Electorally chastened Putin will likely default to nationalistic anti-western appeals, he is no friend, and he is has been wooing/bribing/threatening the errant former SSR's. Use a northen route, Putin'll be the one putting the screws on when it suits.

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